Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Charles II
Duke of Mecklenburg
Grand Duke of Mecklenburg
Reign 2 June 1794 – 6 November 1816
Predecessor Adolf Friedrich IV
Successor Georg
Spouse Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt
Princess Charlotte of Hesse-Darmstadt
Charlotte Georgine, Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Duchess Caroline Auguste
Duke Georg Carl
Therese, Princess of Thurn and Taxis
Duke Friedrich Georg
Louise, Queen of Prussia
Frederica, Queen of Hanover
Georg, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Duke Friedrich Karl
Duchess Auguste Albertine
Duke Charles
Full name
Charles Louis Frederick
House House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Father Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg, Prince of Mirow
Mother Princess Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Born October 10, 1741(1741-10-10)
Died November 6, 1816(1816-11-06) (aged 75)
Religion Lutheranism

Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg (10 October 1741 – 6 November 1816) was ruler of the state of Mecklenburg-Strelitz from 1794 until his death. Originally ruling as duke he was raised to the title grand duke in 1815. Prior to succeeding to the throne he served as Governor of Hanover from 1776 to 1786.


Early life and service in Hanover

Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg was born in Mirow the second son of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg, Prince of Mirow and his wife Princess Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen. On 11 December 1752 his uncle Adolf Friedrich III died and as a result the older brother of Charles succeeded him becoming Adolf Friedrich IV. With his brother's ascension Charles was taken with the rest of the family from Mirow to the capital Strelitz.[1]

Since the age of four Charles looked set for a career in Hanoverian service after being given a Captains commission.[2] His sister Charlotte married the Elector of Hanover, King George III of the United Kingdom on 8 September 1761. Charles made frequent visits to his sister in Great Britain and he ultimately entered in the service of his brother-in-law, the Elector of Hanover, being given a chief military appointment at Hanover following service in Spain.[3]

In the Autumn of 1776, Charles was appointed governor-general of Hanover by his brother-in-law. As Governor of Hanover, Charles effectively held all the powers of a sovereign ruler; with his brother-in-law having no wish to reside in Germany being thoroughly English.[3] Shortly after being widowed for a second time in December 1785, Charles requested permission to retire from his military employments in Hanover and resign the governorship.[3] His brother-in-law granted his request and promoted Charles to the rank of field marshal and granted him a pension.[4] Charles then spent some time traveling before settling down in Darmstadt, where he became President of the Imperial Credit Commission.[2]

Following the childless death of his older brother Adolf Friedrich IV on 2 June 1794, Charles succeeded him as the ruling Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.[5]

Ruler of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

As ruler Charles encouraged new agricultural trends, established a new police force, and implemented compulsory education. In 1806, his duchy joined the Confederation of the Rhine. Following the Congress of Vienna his title was elevated on 28 June 1815, making him a grand duke.[6]

In the summer of 1816 Charles went on a tour of Rebburg, Schwalbach and Hildburghausen. Shortly after returning he was taken ill with inflammation of the lungs dying in Neustrelitz after suffering a fit of apoplexy.[7] He was succeeded by his eldest son Georg.[5]

Marriages and children

After unsuccessful attempts to marry a Princess of Denmark and a Princess of Saxe-Gotha[2] Charles married as his first wife Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt, a daughter of Landgrave George William of Hesse-Darmstadt on 18 September 1768 in Darmstadt.[8] They had ten children together with two daughters becoming German queens consort.

After Friederike's death in 1782, he married her sister Princess Charlotte of Hesse-Darmstadt (1755–1785) on 28 September 1784 in Darmstadt.[8] Charlotte died on 12 December 1785 shortly after giving birth to their son.

Titles and styles

  • 10 October 1741  – 2 June 1794: His Serene Highness Duke Charles of Mecklenburg, Prince of Mirow
  • 2 June 1794  – 28 June 1815: His Ducal Serene Highness The Duke of Mecklenburg
  • 28 June 1815  – 6 November 1816: His Royal Highness: The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg



  1. ^ Huish, Robert (1821). Public and Private Life His Late Excellent and most Gracious Majesty George The Third. T. Kelly. p. 170. 
  2. ^ a b c Orr, Clarissa Campbell (2004). Queenship in Europe 1660-1815. Cambridge University Press. pp. 375, 379. ISBN 0521814227. 
  3. ^ a b c Hudson, E. H. (1878). The Life and Times of Louisa, Queen of Prussia. Hatchards, Piccadilly. pp. 185, 189, 225. 
  4. ^ Oulton, Walley Chamberlain (1819). Memoirs of Her Late Majesty, Queen Charlotte. T. Kinnersly. p. 238. 
  5. ^ a b Baines, Edward (1851). The Book of Dignities. Longmans. p. 52. 
  6. ^ Almanach de Gotha (182nd ed.). Almanach de Gotha. 1998. p. 173. ISBN 0953214206. 
  7. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine. F. Jefferies. 1816. p. 477. 
  8. ^ a b Huberty, Michel; Alain Giraud, F. et B. Magdelaine. L'Allemagne Dynastique, Tome VI : Bade-Mecklembourg. p. 211. ISBN 9782901138068. 
Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Cadet branch of the House of Mecklenburg
Born: 10 October 1741 Died: 6 November 1816
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Adolf Friedrich IV
Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
Raised to Grand Duke
New title Grand Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
Succeeded by

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